Sexist jokes linked to battering women

July 10, 2009 at 1:22 AM

GRANADA, Spain, July 10 (UPI) -- Sexist jokes favor mental mechanisms linked to violence and battering against women in people with macho attitudes, researchers in Spain said.

University of Granada scientists applied several questionnaires to a group of 109 male university students ages 18-26. The study participants were shown two series of jokes -- one with sexist jokes in which women were denigrated and another one with neutral jokes without any kind of sexist content.

The researchers then proposed several scenes with different cases of battering against women, from minor to serious attacks. The researchers asked the participants how they would react in such situations.

The study found those who had listened to sexist jokes were much more tolerant with male battering than those who had not. Sexist humor favors the mental mechanisms tolerant with violent behavior toward women, the researchers said.

The researchers warn those affected by sexist humor showed a previous tendency to tolerate violence against women, a survey on sexist attitudes against women showed.

The findings were presented at the International Summer School and Symposium on Humor and Laughter: Theory, Research and Applications in Granada, Spain.

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